Posts by Nicole Hernandez

Calvert Designs Their Garden

Today’s lesson allowed students to become mapmakers! I asked to students to first create a mental map of their garden. Building maps encourages spatial thinking and allows one to comprehend space and place. In the case of our garden, our map extended into what we were growing and what goes on within soil. We discussed…

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Mayberry Goes Outdoors Inside

To their teachers delight, I brought in a bunch of red worms. Before allowing students to observe and handle the worms we reviewed the importance of worms in soil, their delicate anatomy, and the do’s and don’ts. To my surprise students were extremely interested in this lesson, and to have worms up close and personal.…

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Calvert Kids Get BEEEEZY

These kiddos were more than happy to get onto the floor and use their art skills to draw out the anatomy of a bee. Taking the bee piece by piece, we complicated the notion that bees were a belly with wings and a stinger. Instead kids got to thinking about their own bodies compare to…

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Mayberry Magicians have Soiled Hands

The goal with this class was for students to build a hands-on model of our soil profile to discuss soil quality.  After organizing ourselves into partners, we explored various locations where plants, trees, and weeds were growing. Not just within our garden beds but the area surrounding the garden area. Each teams decided upon five…

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Calvert 3rd Graders Strengthen Their Research Skills

Our 3rd Graders this week took to their field journals to make observations about leaf shape, size, vein and stem structures. This work built off of previous lessons on garden mapping and co-planting. We discussed how these structural and design differences lend to better absorbing light, moving around nutrients, and fitting next different plants in the…

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Herbs Herbs Herbs and Spices with Mayberry 1st Graders

Mayberry 1st Graders got up-close with new smells, sights and textures this week. Along with their teacher, we discussed how to identify key differences between herbs and spices (think leaves/seeds vs bark/roots). Students tested their senses noting differences in smell and texture, and found not all were pleasant.  We had fun telling stories about tacos…

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The Three Sisters and a Winter Salad.

Calvert’s kids this week learned about the ancient tradition of companion planting. The most well known system, The Three Sisters, was developed by Native Americans and to go over the pattern we drew diagrams with chalk on the asphalt. We talked about the importance of arranging crops so they complement one another based on their different requirements…

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Mayberry Magicians Learn The Hidden Part Of A Plant

Our Mayberry students took this week to learn the parts of a plant, both the visible and invisible parts. Students put on their observation hats and with their notebooks into the garden to find the six basic parts of a plant. For our younger students, we used our bodies to demonstrate how a plant grows…

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Calvert Kids Have A Watershed Moment!

What is a watershed? Easy, if you are standing on the ground right now, just look down. You’re standing, and everyone is standing, in a watershed. A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that falls in it and drains off of it goes to a common outlet. Watersheds can be…

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Calvert Students Go Indoors

Calvert Elementary is located in Woodland Hills and this put their school close enough to the recent fires that we took our garden class indoors. I decided to test the savvy fifth grader’s research and presentation skills. I assigned groups different insects and animals and I allowed them to decide what they wanted to learn…

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A Watershed Moment for Mayberry Magicians

Do you know what a watershed is?  This lesson put the water and food cycle into a larger context, and together, each class added to a lifesize drawing of a watershed. Definition: An area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to difference rivers, basins, or seas.   We all started with a handout…

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Calvert Koala’s Get Scientific

The goal this year is to instill the characteristics of a good scientist. Teaching what it means to investigate, observe, and notetake. For the students at Calvert Elementary, this started with a close observation of the details and differences amongst garden plants.     In their journals, students took note of sizes, shapes, pointy or dull edges,…

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Mayberry Magicians Get Wormy

The Mayberry Magicians this month got up close and personal with red worms to learn about Vermiculture! We started by reading together the “Wonderful World of Worms,” by Linda Glaser. Then we created a happy worm habitat drawing and pinpointed the parts of the anatomy we knew. The students were shocked to learn that there…

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